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< Piro >

the megatokyo panel at Otakon 2001

"Fires & Floods"

Tuesday - August 14, 2001

[Piro] - 13:21:00 - [link here]

Today's 'suprise' is the second poster sized image that Merekat and I worked on - Megatokyo Memorial (a spoof on the dating sim game 'Tokimemi Memorial').

A little surprise for y'all. 'Pirogoeth' is the culmination of about four weeks of hard work by the very talented Merekat. She was able to take my original design and color sketch of Pirogoeth, a spoof on this official artwork from NeverWinter Nights. Spectacular, isn't it? I present proof to how much i suck!! ha-haa! ^^;;; Seriously tho, Merekat and I had a lot of fun collaborating on this image - it is a great collaboration of our particular talents. We've been exploring other pieces and styles we can do that will help expand the artistic vision of the Megatokyo world, so this is just the first of many pieces we'll be working on. Yes, we are going to print posters. Yes, you will be able to buy them. I'll post more info on that as soon as we have it.

I'll put up the other image we presented at Otakon, the Megatokyo Memorial image, on thursday.

I believe that today marks the one year anniversary of Megatokyo. It was one year ago today that we put up the first strip. We used to joke about where things would be a year later (partly because Penny Arcade was just getting into it's second year). I'm a little frazzled about it all right now, and didn't even really think about it till i got home from Otakon. Neither of us really thought that we'd stick with it for this long. You've all heard me bitch and moan enough over the past year, sorry about that, but i think that generally people have enjoyed the comic.

I did have one person tell me that i needed to get serious and either commit myself to Megatokyo or quit doing it... not really sure what that was about, but there is no way I could be more committed to this project, without quitting my day job or breaking up with Seraphim. Sorry, not an option - You're gonna have to accept my 'partial' commitment, dude.

First off, i want to thank everyone who attended our panel discussions or found us in the Artist Alley at Otakon over the weekend. Both Largo and I were a little overwhelmed with it all, and we hope that we did an ok job, and that no one was disappointed. No matter how much denial i suffer from, Its a bit hard to ignore the bunches who showed up to support Megatokyo. It was a lot of fun - never seen a con from that side of the table before, really... well, there was Anime Central, but that was kind of surreal... ^^;;

Secondly, A big thanks to all the other web comic artists who showed at the Web Manga panel and helped to make that a success. Mac Hall, RPG World, Genesis Chronicles, Bad Boys of Computer Science, NeoBaka, those crazy Avalon people, and there were several others in the audience too... my brain can't remember them all right now - someone help me and get me a list! agghhh!!! ^^;; I think the main conclusion that we came to in that panel is that here in the US, web comics and manga are a new medium that is here and is not going away. People need to take us seriously. I learned a lot of things that made me feel much more confident in the future of this medium, very confident indeed. (i'll insert links later today)

Thirdly, A big thanks to all our friends and the MT crew who tagged around with Largo and I over the weekend. Dom, Wing, Ukyo, Merekat, Thien, Hot Soup, Kai, CrowQueen, Ian, Shaggy, oh yea... and all you 'other' channel people. ^_^ Thanks for the badge, VM, hope you guys didn't get shut down again Mokona, and... heh, and someone asked me if i was really as frazzled as i looked? Yes, i was. I know i missed a bunch of you here - gomen. My brain isn't good for much right now. :)

The best thing to come out of this trip to Otakon was it gave the MT crew a chance to synergize - we're scattered all over the country. It worked, it felt good, and I wish we could do it more often. Ed, we missed you. Please come to the next one. Dom is too hard to deal with without some help... ^^;;

Fourthly, a big thanks to the Otakon staff. It was tiring just to watch you guys scrambling to keep things moving. Running a con that big is a hard job, and we appreciate everything you guys did for us. Thanks for inviting us, we felt honored to be there.

And finally... to the proud city of Baltimore... From fires and chemical spills in your tunnels and on your bridges, to exploding gas lines and flying manhole covers, fire and smoke billowing gaping holes in the ground, closed streets, traffic nightmares, a rainy drizzle that soaked everyone to the bone both friday AND saturday night, open fire hydrants flooding the streets (in an attempt to clean out chemicals in the water system), to the poor little underground critters that had to run for their very lives as the sewers filled... I'll never forget Baltimore. It all seemed so oddly... appropriate.


As of tomorrow, we will be back on our original schedule again, and I will continue my commentary on our trip to Otakon in a little more detail.

[ps: i got a few emails from some baltimore natives who got the wrong idea... i am only poking fun at the weekend, not the city of Baltimore itself. I've never been to Baltimore before, and even WITH all the rain and disasters, I thought it was a great city. The waterfront area is REALLY nice. We're gone now, so the fires and floods should be over with. :)]

[pps: hahah! I got some 'corrections' from Dave Spracklen this morning regarding some 'errors' in my baltimore report:

Anyway. The explosion wasn't a gas main. There was a chemical calledtripropylene which had built up in the drainage system under that intersection.The chemical is a common one and is used by many industries . . . and it's alsohighly flammable. Some types of the chemical have a flashpoint of only 75F.Anyway. That's what blew. People reported weird smells there as long as a weekago, but nothing could be detected. (They suspect that was apparently becausethis stuff is very heavy and so most of it wasn't floating up) As a side note,one of the train cars in that big mess a month ago was carrying this chemical.They're running tests to determine if it is likely the chemical came from that.
Thanks dave! ^_^;;]

< Largo >

you're already here.

"Riots & Earthquakes"

Tuesday - August 14, 2001

[Largo] - 16:13:00 - [link here]

As some of you already know, this past weekend Piro and I spent our time as a guests of Otakon, an anime/manga convention held in Baltimore, Maryland. Otakon had asked Fred and I to be guests this year and we cordially agreed to their request.

The thing to know about Baltimore is that currently it's under attack by the rest of the world. This private war has been waged in secret, taking place deep underground in specially made tunnels. In a recent wave of attacks, a chemical bomb was detonated in one of the main hive tunnels. This caused a chain reaction resulting in chemical spills causing even more uncontrolled fires, manhole covers exploding off the ground, and a huge reduction in Baltimore's rat population.

The rats' plight in all this went shamefully unnoticed by the media. One eyewitness account went as follows, "The vermin were forced to become refugees as the civil workers began flooding the sewers with water from the fire hydrants in order to cleanse the city of the quickly ensuing fiery chaos. Given the choice of being burned alive by the raging gas fires, or drowning in the cold waters, the rats tried to escape to the city surface, many did not survive the journey. "

All this took place right at the Baltimore Convention Center, also known as - "Ground Zero". With the constant sounds of police sirens, firetrucks, and the afore mentioned exploding manholes - we expected our own hotel to combust the moment we left to go home.

After having been a guest at a convention, my experience can be sum'd up with the following comments, "Conventions are work, work is bad, I hate work".

Which reminds me, this month I'll be at AnimeFest in Dallas, TX on August 31st.

The pirogoeth and memorial posters we unveiled at Otakon seemed to generate enough positive responce for us to look into printing them. One suggestion is most people want them larger, so we're thinking about doing them 24" x 35", big giant pirogoeth posters. The image even made its way over to the Neverwinter Vault, and even our friends at Bioware.


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